Kenyans from all walks of life yesterday rallied to assist needy learners who were finding it hard to join secondary school despite posting impressive grades in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination.
The acts of generosity followed stories run in the Sunday Nation of various bright students who were about to give up on joining Form One from today due to lack of funds.
By Sunday evening, enquiries kept trickling in from politicians, corporates and citizens, who wanted to help a student or two.
Among the students whose plight moved readers is Simon Mbogo, who was once a street child in Nairobi’s Mathare before a Catholic nun rescued him in 2014 and helped him get an education at Sacred Heart Primary School in Naivasha.
He went ahead to score 429 marks and earned himself a spot in Murang’a Boys High School.
“I received assistance when I was in a situation like his and I would wish to chip in,” Mr Maina, one of the well-wishers who offered to assist Simon, said.
Another one is Cynthia Jeptoo, who posted 435 marks and has a slot at Alliance Girls, but risked missing out because her single mother could not afford to take her there.
On receiving news that one Nancy was willing to assist, Cynthia and her guardian could not hide their joy when they spoke to the Nation.
Students from hardship-prone Turkana County also moved a number of Kenyans.
Saboti MP Caleb Amisi is among those who offered to help, pledging to fund Austine Wambingwa’s four-year study at Alliance through his foundation.
Meanwhile, hundreds of destitute students across the Coast region are still unable to join Form One due to lack of fees.
The students are at a loss as to where they will get school fees, uniform and stationery to join the prestigious learning institutions.
Although some have termed their fate as shattered dreams, others are optimistic that perhaps a well-wisher will come forth and cater for their needs.
Fifteen-year-old Claris Awuor Adundo, who is among the top performing KCPE students in Mombasa, might miss her chance to join Form One due to lack of school fees.
After scoring 397 marks in Victory Junior School in Bombolulu, she was selected to join Asumbi Girls High.
However, dreams of the aspiring lawyer were shattered after her single mother informed her that she is unable to raise fees. She is supposed to join the school by January 7.
“My mother sells doughnuts at Sabasaba and does not earn enough to pay rent, feed my siblings and pay for my school fees,” the sad girl said.
According to the school fees structure, students admitted at the school are supposed to pay a total fee of Sh53,334 per year.
Her mother, Ms Rose Akoth, said a well-wisher, who is a former teacher at the school, had helped her to cater for her daughters primary education.
“But when she was transferred, the school took over the responsibility. I could not afford to pay her primary school fees, but the school director allowed my daughter to continue learning due to her good performance,” Claris’ mother said.
The mother says she had applied for scholarships from financial institutions offering scholarships and even the constituency development fund to no success.
Additional reporting by Winnie Atieno and Siago Cece